What makes us unique


Options Fostering are unique. Our team is an ‘extended family’ which assists and supports all our carers. So what makes us unique? we offer a pathway to ensure consistency and stability for every child in our care, as well as a clinical team who provide bespoke training and support to Foster carers and therapeutic support to young people in foster placement where necessary. Find out more below.

Our clinical team

An integral part of Options Fostering are our Clinical Services. Based on-site, the clinical team comprises a diverse range of clinical specialisms, including…

  • Consultant Clinical PsychologistsOccupational Therapists
  • PsychotherapistsForensic Psychologists
  • Speech + Language TherapistsEducation Psychologists
  • Assistant Psychologists

Meet Dr Emma Crawford – Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Lead at Options Fostering.

EmmaCrawfordClinicalTeam“I have been working with children with complex needs and their families and carers since qualifying and am passionate about improving outcomes for children in care. I have extensive experience of providing training and intervention drawing on attachment theory and complex trauma. I am delighted to be working with Options Group and to be involved in developing and delivering high quality, effective clinical services with both residential care staff and foster carers. I lead a team of highly qualified clinicians with a range of skills that contribute to providing bespoke training and support to foster carers and therapeutic input to young people in foster placement where necessary. A part of my role I really enjoy is working closely with my colleagues to ensure that we consider the needs of our carers and young people in a timely and holistic manner.”ClinicalInputModel

The average referral for clinical support is accepted and allocated within 5 days.  This means foster carers are provided with additional support, advice and guidance without delay, which  can be very important when extra help is needed with fostering.  The same referral timescales apply for children and young people, cutting out waiting lists and time compared to pursuing referrals though a GP.

Integrating both clinical and social work expertise, we support our foster carers to understand and use Attachment Focused Parenting.  Following the Core Practice model of understanding and managing complex needs, this clinical based program supports relationship building with children and young people when first placed with foster carers.


Our pathway service

The pathway service enables comprehensive matching of children and young people currently living within our other services. Through on-going assessment, Options Fostering have a proven track record, with positive outcomes, of children experiencing family life.

The significant advantage for foster carers is that we work alongside the residential team at our services, who have extensive knowledge and understanding of the child’s needs, to ensure we make excellent matches.

Our Pathway encompasses residential, education and therapy and is so unique because it ensures stability even if one area of the child’s life should change. The Pathway ensures Children can move family whilst retaining the consistency of their education and therapy . Similarly, some children when settled will move to a mainstream school, whilst retaining consistency of a family placement and therapy.

Transition Plans
As the pathway is an in-house service, Options Fostering is in the exclusive position of being able to agree long transition plans. The average transition from residential to foster is 4-6 weeks. Commencing with short periods of time with the identified foster family, building up time in a planned and thoughtful manner, so that children get used to carers and likewise.

The transition plan can however be shortened or extended depending on the child’s needs. Time with the foster family increases over the plan to include overnights, transporting to/from school, meeting family and really getting to know the child.

Moving In
Once a child moves in through the pathway service, there is ongoing support where needed from the Options residential staff who know the child and can offer more support should the child need it. Education and therapy is maintained during this period, to reduce the impact of change.

Fostering Feasibility Assessment
This assessment looks at all areas of risk, ensuring children are ready to live in a family and identifying where foster carers may need additional training and support once the child moves in.